The Berkshire Eagle reports home and businesses owners in Cheshire received a September surprise this week in the form of a 77-cent cut in their tax rate.

Pending state Department of Revenue approval, the rate will drop from the current $13.06 per $1,000 assessed value to $12.29 in fiscal 2019. That's nearly a 6 percent reduction for the municipal budget year that began July 1, according to the Board of Assessors.

Board chairwoman Barbara Astorino delivered the good news to a stunned Select Board at their weekly meeting on Tuesday.

Astorino indicated that a lower rate doesn't necessarily translate into lower property tax bills for all in town.

Taxpayers have a $6.1 million operating budget to pay for, which is approved at the annual town meeting in June. The fiscal 2019 spending measure, up 2.8 percent from fiscal 2018, includes the town's $2.79 million assessment paid to the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District.

Despite the increase, Town Administrator Mark Webber said Cheshire has more of a tax cushion that in past years.